SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A pair of California Hells Angels members were sentenced to prison for participating in a criminal enterprise that included the murder and illegal cremation of another Hells Angel, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Friday. Jeremy Greer, 43, of the Sonoma County Hells Angels was sentenced to seven years in prison for violent crimes as part of a racketeering conspiracy. Merl Hefferman, 54, of the Fresno Hells Angels, was sentenced to four years in prison for obstruction of justice.
Greer committed multiple “brutal” assaults, armed robbery, home invasion robbery and witness intimidation, according to the FBI. He also committed multiple violations of his release conditions, resulting in him being arrested again and remanded to custody.
Hefferman arranged the illegal cremation of former Sonoma County Hells Angels member Joel Silva after he was murdered by Fresno Hells Angels president Brian Wendt along with Sonoma County Hells Angels president Jonathan Nelson and former HASC president Russell Ott. Silve was murdered at the Fresno Hells Angels clubhouse.
Shortly after the killing, Hefferman arranged for the illegal cremation of Silva’s body at a nearby crematory. Wendt, Nelson, and Ott were convicted of the murder in 2022 and currently await sentencing.
“The Hells Angels murdered one of their own, and Hefferman helped them try to get away with it. But for the dedicated efforts of FBI Task Force Officers and Special Agents, particularly officers from the Santa Rosa Police Department and the California Highway Patrol, they would have succeeded. Greer and other Hells Angels followed a malicious code of conduct, encouraging the beating, maiming, and even killing of anyone who dared to cross their criminal enterprise,” said U.S. Attorney Ramsey. “The defendants now face the consequences of their violent racketeering activities.”
In total, five defendants associated with the Sonoma County Hells Angels have been sentenced, the FBI said. The investigation into the chapter began in 2014 with the disappearance of Silva. Eleven members and associates of HASC have since been charged with racketeering, conspiracy and violent crimes, murder, narcotics distribution, assault, robbery, extortion, illegal firearms possession, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
The convicted defendants include five former presidents of Hells Angels chapters. One of those convicted, Raymond Foakes, former HASC president, was convicted of assault with a firearm in aid of racketeering in connection to the hours-long beating of a former Hells Angels member. Foakes was also convicted of witness intimidation for sexually assaulting the former member’s wife while that former member was still being beaten.
Foakes and another Hells Angel, Christopher Ranieri, who was convicted for his role in plotting Silva’s murder, are in custody, pending sentencing.